July 22, 2014


I haven't really followed the Basement Jaxx but I did love their hit 2001 Do Your Thing. I like their new track Never Say Never, but the video is raising eyebrows. Maybe it'll create enough curiosity within the dying music industry to help launch what's actually a pretty song with hooks--it's refreshing to hear pretty piano chords in a dance song. But I'm wondering if people will view this latest offering as:

 a) just another dance video from European producers which objectifies women, as so many do. Even though this is not a woman, but a robot woman without a head. Does the fact that the robot has no head further demean women as turning them literally into a piece of @ss with no face to talk back to a man as she shakes her money-maker solely for his pleasure?

b) There are so many dance videos where models wearing next to nothing cavort to the beat--the formula was worn out 15 years ago, if selling sex ever wears out. So is this twerkbot derivative, reductive or whatever buzz word we are currently using to let the Basement Jaxx know that they've failed to reinvent anything in an attempt to reinvent themselves? Or have they ripped someone else off? We love to make that accusation. Robot drag worked last summer for Daft Punk. And the hookiest part of the song has chords similar to the frequently revived/remixed/covered Womack & Womack jam Teardrops. Hmmm...

c) Is Basement Jaxx is not aware of the twerking controversy or are they trying to cash in on it? I don't know if the producers are gay or not, but will someone claim that they're appropriating black women's culture by twerking? And is it ok for straight men to appropriate black women's culture?

d) A woman of color seems to be teaching the robot to twerk as they formulate it. They only show her backside, but isn't that what twerking is all about? And the robot's @ss, while rubber, is decidedly caucasian. Miley Cyrus was criticized for twerking with black women with big butts. Can a robot sprayed white get away with it?

e) Are these synthetic butts recyclable? Or will they eventually join that massive island of plastic bags and soda bottles which can't biodegrade that's the size of that island the size of Belgium floating in the Pacific?

f) e) In this video, scientists have manufactured something roughly female. So is this transphobic?

g) Is this racist towards asians by painting them as clinical, calculating and working in a scientific field? Is this perpetuating the notion that asians push their children too hard or does it offend whites, blacks and latinos who don't push as hard?

h) Do the Basement Jaxx, in the intro, dare to critique their main audience of clubbers, many of whom have stopped dancing in favor of taking selfies and even dancing to songs about selfies? Maybe these guys are old and out of touch.

i) Should the big bucks used in this expensive video have been sent to kids without water in Detroit, kidnapped Nigerian girls, victims of the recent typhoon or the feature film Hurricane Bianca instead?

j) Can we just enjoy a decent song without worrying so much about everything?

What do you think?